Geographic Limits of Species of Plants in the Basin of the Red River of the North

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1890 - 32 pages
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Page 140 - The territory is eight thousand miles in circumference, extending from the Alleghany to the Rocky mountains, and from the Gulf of Mexico to the Lakes of the North ; and it is the largest territory, and most beneficent in climate, and soil, and mineral wealth, and commercial facilities, ever prepared for the habitation of man, and qualified to sustain in prosperity and happiness the densest population on the globe.
Page 167 - I cannot resist the conclusion, that the extant vegetable kingdom has a long and eventful history, and that the explanation of apparent anomalies in the geographical distribution of species may be found in the various and prolonged climatic or other physical vicissitudes to which they have been subject in earlier times...
Page 143 - ... Forest covers the northeastern two-thirds of the state, approximately; while about one-third, lying at the south and southwest, and reaching in the Red river valley to the international boundary, as also the part of this valley farther north to lake Winnipeg, is prairie. The line dividing these areas, having an almost wholly timbered region on its northeast side, and a region on its southwest side that is chiefly grassland, without trees or shrubs, excepting in narrow belts along the larger streams...
Page 161 - ... reaching eastward at least to Minneapolis, where it Is plentiful ; also abundant In the Red river valley ; extending northwest to the Saskatchewan river (Gray's Synoptical Flora of NA\ Usually from nine to eighteen inches high, or sometimes three to five feet, on the natural prairie ; but continuing as the most troublesome weed In wheat-fields, where it commonly grows four to six feet In hight and sometimes eight feet or more ; foliage dull, grayish green ; flowers showy, occasionally double...
Page 143 - ... streams, as the Red river and its principal tributaries ; but many lakes and creeks, and even portions of the course of large streams, have neither bush nor tree in sight, and occasionally none is visible in a view which ranges from five to ten miles in all directions.
Page 143 - ... contour, if a sufficiently large area is taken into account. The warmest days of summer in Minnesota have a temperature of about 90 Fahrenheit, but such days are rare; and the greatest cold of winter is — 30 or sometimes — 40. The annual precipitation of moisture as rain and snow is from 25 to 30 inches. It is distributed somewhat equally throughout the year; damaging droughts or excessive rains seldom occur. In winter the snow in the south half of the state is commonly about a foot...
Page 141 - Lanrentian lakes the bur or mossy-cup oak, the canoe and yellow birches, the tamarack, or American larch, the black spruce, balsam fir, and the white, red, and Banksian pines ; while farther north the white spruce, beginning as a small tree in northern New England and on Lake Superior, attains a majestic growth on the lower Mackenzie in a more northern latitude than a large part of the moss-covered barren grounds which reach thence eastward to the northern part of Hudson Bay and Labrador. Thus, although...
Page 162 - Its course westward is likely to be checked by the fact that it has usually failed to produce seeds on the prairies." But it spreads freely below ground. It is a common weed of fields in Europe. Linnaeus in his Flora Lapponica, considered it one of the greatest pests of the fields. (George Thurber, 3.) Thaer recommends deep plowing, several times in a season, and and after each plowing, to pull up the root stocks.
Page 161 - L., on next page. H. rigidus, Deaf. Sunflower. Common through the south half of the state and in the Red river valley ; one to three feet high on the natural prairie ; persisting as a troublesome weed in wheatfields during the first two or three years of cultivation, there growing from three to five feet in bight. H.
Page 144 - The absence of trees and shrubs in the prairie region has been often attributed to the effect of fires. Through many centuries fires -have almost annually swept over these areas, generally destroying all seedling trees and shrubs, and sometimes extending the border of the prairie by adding tracts from which the forest had been burned. Late in autumn and again in the spring the dead grass of the prairie burns very rapidly, so that a fire within a few days sometimes spreads fifty or a hundred miles....

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